Malaysia is a country divided into two by the South China Sea. To the west, Malaysia sits between Thailand and Singapore and is home to pristine white beaches as well as the modern, cosmopolitan capital of Kuala Lumpur. 800km to the East, the second half of Malaysia occupies the Northern part of Borneo and is covered in dense, tropical rainforest full of exotic animals.
Although Malaysia is a relatively new country, having only gained independence from the British in 1957, there is a delightful mixture of rich heritage and culture just waiting to be explored. Discover delicious food in Penang, shop ‘til you drop in Kuala Lumpur and dive into the crystal clear oceans surrounding Malaysia.
Take in the natural surroundings of this country and experience the mixture of Malay, Chinese and Indian influences which make Malaysia unique and distinctive. Many tourists seem to bypass this beautiful country for its more popular neighbours but trust us, it’s worth a visit! Even if it is just to see the orang-utans in their natural habitat!
We all know how a cup of tea is pretty much a national treasure in the UK and it appears to be the same here in Malaysia. Explore The Cameron Highlands, Malaysia’s largest hill station, where among the green mounds and mountain peaks, sit tea plantations. Wander around the tea estates of Boh Tea and Boh Sungei Palas to discover how tea is grown here. There are even tea appreciation tours if you’re missing a cuppa that much! You’ll also find your trip into Cameron Highlands a break from the heat of the Malaysian sun with temperatures rarely rising above 21c. A refreshing cup of tea anyone?
For a completely different change of scenery, Kuala Lumpur is the place to go. The Petronas Twin Towers are 88 storeys tall and are the focal point of Kuala Lumpur’s skyline. Resembling two rockets ready for take-off, the Petronas Twin Towers are a combination of an iconic structure, mixed with a spectacular shopping centre at the base and the world’s tallest Skybridge at levels 41 and 42. That’s a recipe for spectacular views if we’ve ever heard one! As well state-of-the-art architecture, traditional mosques and temples nestle in between the skyscrapers, making it a mix of east meets west as well as a major capital of the world.
If you love your exquisite nature, Malaysia also has some wonderful beaches. The Perehentian Islands to the East and Langkawi on the West Coast are by far the best beaches in this country. Venture out by boat to either of these beautiful places and you will think you’ve landed in paradise! If the beaches aren’t on your Malaysian bucket list, the dense jungle might be. There are specialist rainforest trails set up where you can follow a map and wind through interlinking paths through the tropical forest. You can also get the once in a lifetime experience of seeing majestic orang-utans in the wild. Either go on a specific tour or visit a sanctuary like the Sepilak Rehabilitation Centre.
For a taste of real Malaysian food, venture to the foodie central of Penang. This island situated on the west coast of Malaysia is the place to be to try local delicacies. Bypass the restaurants and head to the stalls on the roadside. Yes they might not look so appealing, but the food is the freshest you will get. Many “hawker” stalls serve just one speciality dish, either a meal that has been passed through generations or a traditional meal that has a different twist to it!
Around the rest of Malaysia, food is very much influenced by Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures. Expect to be sampling chicken curries, oyster omelettes and noodle dishes. Roti Cani, is a favourite for breakfast here in Malaysia. This doughy, buttery, croissant-type meal is served on its own or as an accompaniment to curry at lunch. Satay meats are also very popular for lunch and dinner here in Malaysia and locals will claim that Malaysian satay is the best in the world. With a sweet, peanut based flavour, we’ll leave it up to you to decide!
To complement the unique food this country has to offer, the drinks are just as memorable. We mentioned earlier that tea is a treasured beverage here however it may not be served up in your usual way. The bitter leaves for a Teh Tarik are combined with sweet condensed milk, then the drink is frothed to give it a texture similar to a latte. This drink may be enjoyed as a refreshing iced drink as well as warm! Another sweet beverage is called Limau Ais, a tangy, lime juice served over ice. We can’t think of a better drink to keep us cool in the Malaysian heat!